Changes in Me
Author's note: I was homeschooled for half my life until fifth grade, so most of these thoughts and feelings are... Show full author's note »
New BeginningsBefore my sophomore year at Willis Henry High School, I was one of "those home schooled kids". I wore my pants to my waist, I had the posture of a running kangaroo, and it seemed that I had never heard of a hairbrush before. I could quote every word from Lord of the Rings, and had read almost every fantasy book imaginable. Don't get me wrong, not every home schooled kid is like this, but I was. I was a girl who wasn't nerdy, but just plain weird.
I will always remember my first day at the odorous, congested, sense of forte vicinity (you know it as school). I waltzed through the cold metal doors to the academy, contemplating how my new Algebra 2 book smelled- minty, with a hint of leather; it stung my senses. I sensed a shove jolting through my body as another teen walked briskly past me, before squealing with happiness at the sight of her shiny straight-haired friends... they appeared as Barbies to me, all looking the same. 'I will never be able to remember all their names!' I thought in distress, for it was my ambition to make friends with all of these new specimens.
Seeing the most kids in one room then I have ever beheld before was quite the sight to take in for me. I felt overwhelmed at the new faces and opportunities for friends, nervous at all the germs and cussing, and surprised at the revealing clothing and dirty looks. 'What am I doing here? I don't belong. These kids have known each other since at least 2nd grade!' were the thoughts racing through my mind at the time, each competing for most important, as I walked into first period math class.
As I bustle into my seat up front, a boy catches my eye; caramel brown hair that is messy in a cute reckless way and shockingly blue eyes fill his features, and accent his long nose and perfect white smile. Nervously, I steal a glance at his hands-a groomed peach finger nailed female hand is intertwined within it. I glance again- and again, and again, and still about six more times. 'Gosh, people must think I have a twitch.'
I hear the Charlie Brown like teacher noises emerging from the front of the room as I grudgingly free my mind of that boy with the peach-nailed girl as I pick at my dog hair filled yellow fleece jacket. Jane, my older sister, advised me to wear something a little more high school friendly, instead of my usual scraggly messy blond waist length hair going free bird down my back, my grandma's old blue jeans, and my fleece which even my mom loves. I don't know, I think I looked cute, but apparently some people beg to differ. I assume the transition between home school and high school is quite tiring, and I really don't think that I will ever be ready for those buttock revealing shorts and breast revealing tops. And the concept of burning your hair to acquire a straight appearance seems, well, just wrong.
Anyways, class ended and we filed out into the hallway like cows ready for slaughter...
I hear laughing and chanting up ahead and I struggle to keep up with the herd. I always love a good laugh. My favorite are from those silly finger puppets my mom used to play with to keep my family of 8 quiet on road trips to the farm or something of that nature.
I hear more laughing and chanting as I approach the scene at a closer distance. I see a skinny neatly dressed boy huddled by a locker which I assume must be his. Another teen boy is standing next to him, repeatedly kicking him in the stomach; the neatly dressed one hurls. I rush forward and hoist the hurler under the arms and carry him from the scene, as people throw inappropriate words at my fleeing back.
"What is wrong with you?" the boy demands to me as I sit him down on a chair in my math room. "I just wanted to help" I reply. What is wrong with me? What's wrong with him should be the question! "Why did you let them do that to you?" he doesn't answer so I don't encourage the answering of my question. I study his outfit: his blond hair is neatly combed to one side and his green eyes pop dramatically against his pale skin. His white collared shirt is tucked in under a dark blue golf sweater. He wears navy dress pants with a brown leather belt and matching brown loafers decorate his feet. I got to say: he's classy. But something is different about him. I just can't put my finger on it though.
I interrogate him about his name, “John," he replies. I smile at the thought of this well dressed teen being called "Johnny"... weird things like that are comical to me, just like how my appearance is funny to certain people. I reply with my name, Helen. John nods and stands up to leave, and as he turns his back, he says to me, "Um, Helen?" I nod in acknowledgement. "Thanks."
The warmth of a smile fills my face: I think I made a friend.